UGA softball rallies, but falls short vs. Tennessee in WCWS

Photo by Sue Ogrocki

Photo by Sue Ogrocki

OKLAHOMA CITY - Ninth-ranked Georgia rallied with a three-run home run from sophomore Ashley Razey in the seventh inning, but 15th-ranked Tennessee held on to win game six of the 2010 Women's College World Series, 7-5, Friday night at the ASA Hall of Stadium in front of a single-session WCWS attendance record crowd of 8,694.

Tennessee (49-13) advances in the winner's bracket and will await Arizona, Washington or Hawaii for a Sunday matchup. Georgia (49-12) falls to the loser's bracket and will play next today at 7 p.m. ET against the winner of game seven of the WCWS between Florida and Missouri. The Gators and Tigers will play earlier in the day Saturday at 12 p.m.

The Lady Vols, who are now 3-2 versus the Bulldogs this season, earned the WCWS victory behind freshman Ivy Renfroe in the circle. Renfroe pitched a complete game allowing five runs on 10 hits while striking out a career-high 10 to earn the win and improve to 31-4 on the year. Junior Sarah McCloud started for the Bulldogs and pitched into the second allowing one run to take the loss and fall to 13-2.

Tennessee built a 7-0 lead through its first four times at-bat in the game including two runs in the second, a grand slam from Erinn Webb in the third and an RBI single from Kat Dotson in the fourth.

Georgia's comeback attempt started with single runs in the fourth and the fifth, and in the seventh, Razey (3-for-4, 4 RBI) pelted the first pitch she saw over the left field fence to give the game what provided to be the final margin of 7-5. It was the fourth game between Georgia and Tennessee this season to be decided by two or less runs.

Tennessee picked up the first two runs in the second on a pair of wild pitches. Jessica Spigner drew a leadoff walk and moved around to third on a pair of wild pitches from McCloud. Two batters later, Spigner scored on a wild pitch from sophomore reliever Erin Arevalo. Lauren Gibson and Tiffany Huff followed with a pair of singles while Shelby Burchell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A fourth wild pitch in the frame then allowed Gisbon to score.

The Lady Vols extended the lead to 6-0 in the third on the grand slam from Webb. Dotson was hit by the first pitch of the inning, and Kelly Grieve followed with a bunt single ending the day for Arevalo as the Bulldogs would turn to freshman Alison Owen next. Owen then hit Spigner to load the bases for Webb's round tripper. It was the second grand slam against the Bulldogs this season for Webb. Tennessee picked up its final run in the fourth to make the advantage 7-0. Raven Chavanne tripled to center to lead off the inning and scored on a single to left from Dotson.

Georgia scored single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to cut the Tennessee lead to 7-2. In the fourth, Georgia got on the board with one run on an RBI single to short from sophomore Ashley Pauly. Junior Brianna Hesson (2-for-4) scored the run after reaching on a fielder's choice and moving around to third as the bases became loaded with Bulldogs on a walk and hit batter.

In the fifth, junior Megan Wiggins led off with an infield single to second to extend her school-record hitting streak to 22 games and her current on-base streak to 32 games. Later in the inning with Wiggins on second after stealing the bag, Razey dropped a single into shallow right that Gibson could not handle going back from second base allowing Wiggins to score.

The seventh-inning rally then started with Wiggins drawing a walk and junior Alisa Goler singling to right. Two batters later, Razey provided the home run, her 14th of the year.

Georgia's Saturday contest against either Florida or Missouri will be televised on ESPN/ESPN3.com, and live audio can also be heard on Athens Sports Radio 960TheRef and www.georgiadogs.com.